All the dazzling alien holograms and more than 400 futuristic-looking human and alien computer interfaces, and other high tech device screens in the Earth vs. Alien epic “Independence Day: Resurgence,” were the work of Chicago’s Derek Frederickson and his Twisted Media team.
Frederickson was the playback graphics supervisor: on-set, in charge of all the playback graphics and animation for 20th Century Fox’ $200 million sci-fi disaster film that opens in theatres June 24 in 2D, 3D and IMAX.
“This was the biggest movie we’ve done in which the computer screens played a key role in telling the story. It was a huge project, and we put together the team that rocked it out,” says Frederickson, speaking from his newly opened LA office.
Directed and co-written by Roland Emmerich, “Independence Day: Resurgence” is the sequel to the 1996 sci-fi hit in which aliens attacked Earth and it took everything humanity had to prevent them from destroying the planet. Now the ETs are back and only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction.”
Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch and Vivica A. Fox reprise their original roles and co-star with Liam Hemsworth, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Sela Ward in a cast of 165 actors.
“Our team designed everything from human and alien fighter cockpit interfaces to a moon base command center, to advanced military screens. Some of these designs that we poured our hearts into are just background blurs, but on a project of this scope every detail counts,” says Frederickson.
The six-person local “dream team” he supervised consisted of Clark Stanton, Tom Slatterly, Andrew Jarvis and Antony Bortolotti and two LA-based designers. Frederickson says they were challenged to create a unique visual language that had not been seen before but could be understood.
“We worked with top notch visual effects experts all over the world. We supplied everything that could not be physically shot,” he says. “We do our magic with talent and a laptop.
“Our team designed everything from human and alien fighter cockpit interfaces to a moon base command center, to advanced military screens. Some of these designs that we poured our hearts into are just background blurs, but on a project of this scope every detail counts,” he says.
“Resurgence” filming began in May, 2015 at Albuquerque Studios in New Mexico where Frederickson and his team spent five months creating their on-set playback graphics and animations. (More about the film here.)
Frederickson had been recommended to Fox production executives by Dean Devlin, one of “Resurgence’s” producers and the co-writer of “Independence Day.” Their lengthy relationship began when Frederickson designed the visual effects for the Devlin-produced “Leverage” TV series in Chicago in 2008 and has continued since then.
In business for 20 years, Twisted Media has been working steadily on TV series NBC’s “Chicago PD,” Fox’ “Empire,” and CBS’ “Scorpion.” Frederickson also was playback graphics supervisor: on set on two other sci-fi adventures, “The Space Between Us,” set for Aug. 19 release and “Geostorm,” to be released in 2017.
Twisted Media is located at 1341 W. Granville; phone, 773/972-2972.